This is shaping up to be an ugly month for Apple.
First, the big, big, big news: Consumer Reports announced on Monday that its engineers have demonstrated problems with the iPhone 4’s reception; these problems are serious enough that the respected product testing outfit is retracting its earlier recommendation of the device.
Here’s CR’s statement, which includes a description of the tests that were performed and a video depicting the problem.
In short, it’s all about the antenna gap; Apple’s promised software update that is supposed to fix the display of signal-strength bars won’t address this issue. Oh, and it’s still nowhere in sight; as we approach the end of iPhone 4 Week 3, I’m not even hearing rumors about when this might be released to the field.
For a short-term fix, CR suggests that a piece of duct tape will provide an effective kludge.
Meanwhile, on the backup front, Apple is quietly fessing up to well-reported problems with its early Time Capsule WiFi base station with hard drive. It seems that units made between February and June 2008 have power supply issues; certain units either fail to power up altogether or shut down unexpectedly after startup. One Website started collecting user tales of woe in October 2009, and compiled a list of 2,500 dead Time Capsules, as units started to go belly up about a year and a half after being placed into service.
Now, Apple’s finally stepping up to the plate and admitting that, just maybe, there might be a problem. The company announced on Friday that it would repair or replace affected units within a specific serial number range, but as others have noted, the problem may be inherent to the Time Capsule’s design.